THE BEATLES' MUSIC VIDEOS
|Various Beatles music videos found on The Beatles' official YouTube channel, sadly only snippets are available.|
These promotional clips were made to avoid the necessity of constant exclusive TV appearances, and to make profit from direct sales to various TV companies throughout the world. Earlier mimed appearances by the group exist, but those were made by TV companies themselves, for a specific TV show, like episodes of Ready Steady Go!, Thank Your Lucky Stars and various other British television shows by ITV and the BBC.
HELP!One earlier promotional film had been made for the song "Help!". On 22 April 1965 Richard Lester shot The Beatles performing the song at Twickenham Film Studios in London. The black and white clip, meant to simulate a television performance, served two purposes. The first was that it was used in the opening of the movie as the film at which the villain Klang (played by Leo McKern) throws darts. The second was as a promotional film that could be sent to various television programmes. The “Help!” promotional film aired on Thank Your Lucky Stars on ITV on 17 July 1965 and on Top of the Pops on the BBC on 29 July 1965. A little bit of it was later successfully used as part of the opening shot of the Beatles' Anthology TV series.
|The first music video: "Help!" was filmed in black and white.|
INTERTELThe batch of ten music videos, made on November 25th, 1965, also shot at Twickenham, but by Intertel VTR Services, were quick to make. They were "Help!," "We Can Work It Out" (three versions), "Day Tripper" (three versions)," "Ticket To Ride" and "I Feel Fine" (two versions).
The BBC paid NEMS £1750 for several broadcasts of the clips (largely on Top of the Pops), while the cost of the production itself was just £750. And of course, other TV companies around the world also paid good money in order to show these clips.
Although many of the clips made only a semi-diegetic use of music (on "Help!" Ringo simply holds an umbrella, on "I Feel Fine" he rides on an exercise bike). There's also a version of "I Feel Fine" where the Beatles are snacking on fish and chips, while occasionally mouthing the words of the lyrics.
|I Feel Fine (fish'n'chips version)|
Produced by Tony Bramwell in black and white, still photos were in colour. Many colour photos captured on these film sets later became front covers for internationally released sleeves for singles and EP (four track singles) records.
|The new "Help!" music video.|
|I Feel Fine|
|One of the "Day Tripper" videos.|
|Large tickets on display for "Ticket To Ride".|
|The three "We Can Work It Out" music videos, plus a mimed version from "The Music of Lennon & McCartney".|
|A mix of "Day Tripper" music videos.|
|Sales presenter from 1965|
These music videos marked the start of The Beatles' music video era, and after this, the band always made sure to make a music video for nearly every (British) single they released.
|In Germany, a still photo from the second "Help!" music video was used as cover photo for the|
"Paperback Writer"/"Rain" sleeve.
PAPERBACK WRITER/RAINThe next single release for The Beatles was "Paperback Writer" / "Rain", and just like for "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper", the group made several music videos for both these songs. On 19 and 20 May 1966, The Beatles shot no less than four different films for “Paperback Writer” and three for “Rain”. These were all directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had already directed several editions of Ready, Steady, Go!.
On 19 May 1965 The Beatles and the film crew gathered at Studio One at Abbey Road where they shot two promo films for their singles “Rain” and three for “Paperback Writer”. One of the promo films for “Rain” and one for “Paperback Writer” were shot in colour for the American market, while the rest were filmed in black and white.
The colour versions of “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” would air on The Ed Sullivan Show on 5 June 1966, along with a filmed introduction by The Beatles themselves.
The first filmed black and white version of “Paperback Writer” aired on the final edition of Thank Your Lucky Stars on 25 June 1966 and the second black and white version of “Paperback Writer” and a black and white version of “Paperback Writer” aired on Ready, Steady, Go! on 3 June 1966.
THE CHISWICK HOUSE FILMS
On 20 May 1965 The Beatles and the film crew went to Chiswick House in West London to shoot one more promo film each for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. Both were shot in colour. The film for “Paperback Writer” was more or less a straightforward performance clip, with most of the film devoted to The Beatles miming in the statue garden of Chiswick House.
The film for “Rain“ followed The Beatles wandering about the grounds of Chiswick House as well as footage of children at play around one of the house’s cedar trees, bringing us step away from standard performance clips towards more conceptual videos. Just like in their work in the studio for new songs and albums, as well as their approach when it came to the Christmas flexis, not to mention posing for photos, 1966 is the year when experimentation starts to blossom.
Both films were shot in colour, but they were aired in black and white on Top of the Pops, as the BBC had yet to make the shift to colour. The second colour promo film for “Paperback Writer” debuted on 2 June 1966 on the show, while the second colour promo film for “Rain” debuted on 9 June 1966 on the show.
PENNY LANE - STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
|"Strawberry Fields Forever".|
The Beatles' next two promo films, one each for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”, would be purely conceptual promo films, with no miming. This was probably because of the then ban on miming on TV, brought about by the Musicians' trade Union. John Lennon can be seen mouthing a few words now and then, eye-witnesses claim that he was merely singing the theme from the Monkees TV-show!
Tony Bramwell again produced the two promotional films for Subafilms. The film crew was provided by Don Long Productions. The director on both films was Peter Goldman from Sweden, who had been recommended by The Beatles’ friend Klaus Voorman.
Shooting for “Penny Lane” began on 5 February 1967, and Peter Goldman later shot some additional footage without The Beatles at a later date. Even though “Penny Lane” was inspired by the street of the same name in Liverpool, only a few shots of buses, the barber shop, and “the shelter in the middle of the roundabout” were actually shot there. Most of the film was shot on Angel Lane in Stratford, London, with several scenes shot in Knole Park as well. As with “Strawberry Fields Forever”, The Beatles do not mime to the song. Instead they wander about Angel Lane and ride horses in Knole Park. The promo clips for "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were shown on Top Of The Pops 16 February, 1967, in glorious black and white.
After this,they were largely forgotten about, and when the popular early eighties Britih television programme "The Tube" discovered a silent colour copy of the "Strawberry Fields Forever" film, they had no clue as to which song it was the music video for, and screened it to the audio of "Good Day Sunshine".
A DAY IN THE LIFE
|"A Day In The Life".|
Tony Bramwell was put in charge of a team of seven people with handheld cameras to record the event for the television special.
The idea of a Sgt. Pepper’s television special was quickly abandoned, but the footage was there, and was later edited together with stock footage from other sources to create a promo film for “A Day in the Life”. Unfortunately, “A Day in the Life” would remain unseen for years - although short excerpts of it were shown on various television stations worldwide. Perhaps it was forgotten about when the BBC banned the playing of the song because they thought there were drug references in the lyrics. “A Day in the Life” resurfaced in the in-house 1983 documentary "The Beatles at Abbey Road" and later most of it was later included in The Beatles' Anthology TV series and subsequent home video release.
|"Plain clothes" version of "Hello Goodbye"|
The Beatles next returned to performance clips, although they would have elements of conceptual video. Footage for the promotional films for “Hello Goodbye” would be shot at the Saville Theatre in London on 10 November 1967. Paul McCartney served as the director on the three different promotional films. They were edited by Roy Benson, fresh from editing the television special Magical Mystery Tour.
Three different “Hello Goodbye” music videos would emerge from the footage shot on 10 November 1967. The first film shot featured The Beatles in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms performing against a psychedelic backdrop and featured cutaways to The Beatles, seated and waving, wearing their grey, collarless stage suits from 1963.
|"Anthology" version of "Hello Goodbye"|
At the end of the film they were joined by a group of hula dancers.
The second film featured The Beatles wearing what would be everyday clothing for 1967 (for a Beatle, anyway) performing against a different backdrop, showing a vibrant rural scene.
The third film combined The Beatles’ performance in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms from the first clips with outtakes from the second clip of The Beatles hamming it up (including John and then the other Beatles doing the Twist). All three videos show a clean shaven Lennon without his granny glasses. These films for “Hello Goodbye” was the last time The Beatles wore their Merseybeat suits and the last time they wore their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms - collectively. George's suits would reappear in his own music video for "Ding Dong, Ding Dong", and his "Sgt Pepper" suit again reappeared in his music video for "When We Was Fab". Paul's "Sgt. Pepper" suit had a cameo in his music video for "My Brave Face".
One of the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” was scheduled to air on Top of the Pops on 23 November 1967. Unfortunately, as it was clear that The Beatles were miming, the film ran afoul of the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming. For the 23 November edition of the show, then, Top of the Pops ran footage from the movie A Hard Day’s Night instead. Eventually footage from one of the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” combined with still photographs was aired on Top of the Pops on 7 December 1967. In the United States Version 1 was aired on The Ed Sullivan Show, introduced by Sullivan reading a telegram from The Beatles. The third version of the “Hello, Goodbye” music video (the one which combined The Beatles in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms with outtakes from the second promotional film) is also said to have been aired on The Ed Sullivan Show. One of these Ed Sullivan airings took place on November 26th, but we don't have information whether this was version 1 or version 3.
A fourth promoclip for the song, credited to "Top of the Pops 1967", appeared as a bonus feature on the 2012 DVD release of a digitally restored version of the telefilm Magical Mystery Tour. It is all in black-and-white and features all four Beatles as well as their then-girlfriends at an editing table in an editing room, handling film reels and editing a film referencing the song's lyrics by utilizing simple in-camera editing techniques to make people seen in a field "magically" appear and disappear.
When aired on Anthology, film from the first and the third versions were combined, thereby creating yet another version of this music video.
Of course, the other side of the single, "I Am The Walrus" exists as one of the songs filmed for the Magical Mystery Tour television special, in essence a string of music videos in itself. "Walrus" in particular, looks like a much more contemporary music video.
LADY MADONNAThe Beatles’ next set of films would be for their single “Lady Madonna”. To avoid the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming, it was decided that The Beatles would simply be filmed recording another song. On 11 February 1968 Tony Bramwell then shot The Beatles recording the song “Hey Bulldog”. Two individual promotional films for “Lady Madonna” emerged from the footage. In one the first shot of a Beatle is of Ringo on drums. In the other the first shot of a Beatle is of George eating a plate of beans.
In 1999 the footage would be used again, this time to create a video for the song that The Beatles had actually been recording at the time, “Hey Bulldog”.
|"Anthology" version of "Lady Madonna"|
In the UK one promotional film for “Lady Madonna” aired on Top of the Pops on 14 March 1968. In the United States one of the promotional films for “Lady Madonna” aired on The Hollywood Palace on 30 March 1968.
When "Lady Madonna" was aired in the Anthology TV-series, unrelated footage of The Beatles recording "Hey Jude" for a TV Special called "Music! Experiment in Television" was inserted here and there, thus creating another varaiation of the "Lady Madonna" music video.
The next two promo films would also be shot with the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming in mind.
HEY JUDE - REVOLUTIONOn 4 September 1968 promotional films for “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” were filmed. In order to get around the ban on miming, the vocals for both songs were recorded live, even though they sang over pre-recorded tracks. These colour music videos were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had earlier directed the videos for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”.
|Hey Jude - 4 versions combined|
The footage for “Hey Jude” was shot first, from which three individual but similar looking music videos would emerge: one for release to various television programmes around the world, one that would be shown on David Frost’s show Frost on Sunday in the United Kingdom, and one that would be shown on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the United States. All three music videos would follow the same format, as straight performance clips in which an audience joins The Beatles for the final, long chorus of “Hey Jude”. The differences between the three promotional films were minor at best.
On the version shown on Frost on Sunday the audience is shown a few seconds earlier and there are more close ups of individual members of the audience.
The version shown on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour tended to be closer to the promotional film meant for general release, although there were a few subtle differences. At the same time that footage was shot for the “Hey Jude” promo films, an introduction by David Frost was also shot for his programme, as well as a short instrumental version of the David Frost theme played by The Beatles.
One of the promotional films for “Hey Jude” debuted on Frost on Sunday in the United Kingdom on 8 September 1968. Another made its debut in the United States on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 6 October 1968. A fourth promotional film for “Hey Jude” was later created for The Beatles Anthology in 1995. This version was shorter than the other versions by several seconds, utilising clips from the three videos.
|"Revolution", with a smelly John.|
The shooting of the promotional films for “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” would be the last time all four Beatles gathered for the shooting of promotional films.
THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO
|The Ballad of John and Yoko|
Their next promotional films would be for the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, which was released on 30 June 1969. By the time of “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were filming much of their life and the various events in which they were involved. Much of this footage naturally found its way into the promotional films for the song. The promotional films for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” also feature footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio in January 1969 (taken from the Let It Be sessions), even though only John and Paul were actually involved in recording the song. As to the two promotional films for the for “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, they were essentially similar.
One of the films for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” aired in the United Kingdom on Top of the Pops on 5 June 1969. A music video for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” aired on the television show Music Scene in the United States on 22 September 1969.
SOMETHINGThe final music video made while all four Beatles were together as a band (unless one counts footage from the Get Back sessions) was “Something”. The single “Something”, backed by “Come Together”, was released on 6 October 1969 in the United States and 31 October 1969 in the United Kingdom, just as The Beatles were on the verge of breaking up.
Since the individual Beatles had drifted apart by this time, each of The Beatles and their wives at the time (George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda McCartney, and Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox) were shot around their respective homes. The individual footage was then edited together to create the promotional film for “Something”. Very reminiscent of how the 1969 Christmas flexi was made. The film was directed by Neil Aspinall and premiered in the UK on Top of The Pops 13 November, 1969.
LET IT BE OUTTAKESFrom outtakes from the January 1969 shooting of the "Let It Be" film, at least four music videos were made, three for Paul McCartney's songs: "Get Back", "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road", one for John Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down". The latter premiered in colour on April 30, 1969 on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in USA, and featured footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio as well as performance footage from the rooftop concert.
|Multi-view "Don't Let Me Down".|
"Get Back" was aired on Top Of The Pops in the UK on 17 April, 1969 in black and white. The clip was reprised several times during the year, and on Christmas Day, it was shown in colour for the first time.
On 5 March, 1970, Top of the Pops showed a promotional clip of the Beatles performing "Let It Be" from January 1969. The clip was repeated on 19 March.
|"Let It Be".|
The clip of "The Long and Winding Road" is likely to have been made available as a music video when the song was selected as a single in USA and other countries.
|"The Long and Winding Road".|
When I first arrived in London in the summer of 1982, I was in a pub which had something I had never come across in Norway: a video jukebox. It was just like a regular jukebox, but along with the song, a TV screen showed the music video. It was here that I first saw these promo films from the "Let It Be" film, or at least two of them, but they were shown in black and white.
After The Beatles broke up in 1970, there have been lots of new Beatles videos released, and new versions of the old music videos have been made.
EMI/CAPITOL MAKE THEIR OWN MUSIC VIDEOSIn 1976, EMI/Capitol was promoting their "Rock and Roll Music" compilation album by releasing the single "Back In The USSR"/"Twist and Shout", and a music video was made for "Back In The USSR". The video was compiled from newsfilms of the Beatles arriving at airports etc.
|When the Beatles mimed to a part of "Love Me Do" in 1962, they had no idea that it would become a music video 20 years later.|
|The "Back in the USSR" music video.|
Next up was the music video for "The Beatles' Movie Medley", a single made to promote the compilation album The Beatles: Reel Music, as well as to capitalise on the success of the Stars on 45 cover version single. The music video was made up of clips of Beatles songs from their motion pictures and the Magical Mystery Tour TV-film, in itself a compilation of music videos held together by a thin plot.
In 1984, Capitol Records made a music video for the 20th anniversary of the "I Want To Hold Your Hand" single. Made from old stock non-performance footage, the clip was shown on Friday Night Videos, on the 10th of February, 1964 with Paul McCartney also appearing on the show. The single was also reissued in USA, this time with Paul McCartney's cigarette airbrushed away from the cover photo.
APPLE IS BACKWith Apple on board again, the contract issues between The Beatles and EMI having been settled, the older Beatles music videos are being provided by The Beatles' company for promotional use. In 1993, with the compilation albums "The Beatles 1962-1966" and "The Beatles 1967-1970" (aka "the red album" and "the blue album") coming out on CD for the first time, several music videos were distributed to TV companies around the world. A promotional video cassette featuring short edits of a few of the clips were also made, but the full videos were only available to television stations. These clips were treated with either a prominent, rather large Apple logo on the screen, or with the frame of the screen either decorated in red (for the red album music videos) or blue (you get the picture).
The video snippets included with the promotional video cassette were "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Help!" (Intertel version), "Hello Goodbye" (plain clothes version) and "Fool On The Hill" (from the "Magical Mystery Tour" TV special). More films were released to TV stations only.
|"The Fool On The Hill" sequence from "Magical Mystery Tour" was turned into a music video.|
In 1995, a 4-track EP was made to promote the new collection of Beatles BBC performances, and a music video was made for the main track, "Baby It's You", from still photos of the Beatles recording at the BBC studios, as well as old home movie footage of the Beatles arriving and departing from the studios. Directed by Mark Haefeli and edited by Jeff Wurtz, two different edits of the film have been televised.
|Courtesy of home movie footage, the Beatles come alive in the "Baby It's You" music video.|
|The making of "Free As A Bird" music video.|
|Flying instruments in the "Real Love" music video.|
Several songs from The Beatles' Anthology were edited into music videos and distributed to TV companies in 1996, either to promote the ongoing series or the later release of a longer version of the series on laser discs and video cassettes.
|The "Hey Bulldog" video, with some of the same footage as the old "Lady Madonna" promo, |
finally with the correct soundtrack.
With 1999's "Hey Bulldog", they were in luck, as the original recording session had been filmed in order to make the 1968 music video for "Lady Madonna". The footage works a lot better when used to illustrate the actual song they were recording! The "Hey Bulldog" video is available from iTunes.
|Flash animation: "I Feel Fine".|
|Flash animation: "Come Together".|
In 2003, aborting plans for a home video release of the "Let It Be" documentary, clips from the shooting of the film was made into new music videos promoting the reworked "Let It Be" album, titled "Let It Be...Naked". The brilliant 2003 "Two Of Us" video was an example of turning film footage from the Get Back sessions into black and white and augmenting the video with animated pencil drawings in the background. The clip was directed by Matt White of Supergrizzly Ltd.
|The animated "Two Of Us" music video.|
|The 2003 "Get Back" music video had footage from the studio rehearsals.|
|The "One After 909" music video|
The 2006 "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" music video was simply taken from the remastered (and still unreleased) Beatles At Shea Stadium film and released to TV stations to promote "The Capitol Albums Vol. 2".
A music video to promote the mash-up album "Love" was a completely new animated music video, set to the "Within You Without You"/"Tomorrow Never Knows" track. Working in close association with Apple Corps, the main concept behind 'Within You Without You /Tomorrow Never Knows' was that it should remain, at heart, truly a Beatles video, and, like the LOVE album and the track itself, be composed by combining 'samples' of existing Beatles material.
After extensively combing the Apple archives for appropriate footage, director Simon Hilton selected and edited appropriate excerpts of 'Rain', 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'Penny Lane', 'Blue Jay Way', 'Fool On The Hill', 'Hello Goodbye'. 'I Am The Walrus' & 'All You Need Is Love'.
There was no existing lip-sync for the song, so what you see was created by varispeeding, running backwards, and otherwise animating the original Beatles performances. Setting the video in a starfield of the Universe, we begin with a 'message from beyond', and move through the elements of earth, air, fire and water into an infinite mandala-oriented cosmos.
The mandala shapes and silhouettes were designed by Richard Hogg at Airside, Flame by Gary Brown at Munkey and Jason Watts & Steve Murgatroyd at Finish, 3-D by Tim Bacon, Daniel Sidi and Paul McBride, 2-D by Murray John, Roly Edwards and Camille Macmillan at Airside, and Shake by Byron Woolfindon at Finish. Tim Bacon designed the mathematically brilliant 'Cello Tunnel' at the end, while Andy Horner & Russell Farr shot and lit the ink and water effects created by Ray Spencer. You can watch the video here.
|Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows from "Love"|
Produced by Jonathan Clyde and Katrina Lofaro for Passion Pictures NYC, the video was directed by Lee Gingold and Giles Dill. The company researched stories and footage from 1963 - the year The Beatles progressed from being the opening act on tour to very much the main event. The resulting video captures that heady period with a combination of archive news footage, material shot by director Richard Lester for the Fab Four's first movie A Hard Day's Night, and original frames of animation that create a narrative, part based in the fact of the band travelling Britain during the freezing winter of 1963, with an added whimsical graphic element. A "Making of..." video was also made.
|The 2013 "Words of Love" music video|
The Beatles' music videos:
1965: "Help!" (new video)
1965: "We Can Work It Out" (three versions)
1965: "Day Tripper" (three versions)
1965: "Ticket To Ride"
1965: "I Feel Fine" (two versions)
1966: "Paperback Writer" (three studio versions)
1966: "Rain" (two studio versions)
1966: "Paperback Writer" (Chiswick House version)
1966: "Rain" (Chiswick House version)
1967: "Strawberry Fields Forever"
1967: "Penny Lane"
1967: "A Day In The Life"
1967: "Hello Goodbye" (three different original 1967 versions exist)
1968: "Lady Madonna" (at least two different versions exist)
1968: "Hey Jude" (at least three different versions exist)
1968: "Revolution" (at least two different versions exist)
1969: "The Ballad of John and Yoko" (At least two versions exist)
1969: "Get Back" (Rooftop performance)
1969: "Don't Let Me Down"
1970: "Let It Be"
1970: "The Long and Winding Road"
1976: "Back In The USSR"
1982: "Love Me Do"
1982: "The Beatles' Movie Medley"
1983: "Please Please Me" (at least three different edits were made)
1984: "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
1995: "Baby It's You" (at least two different edits exist)
1995: "Free As A Bird"
1996: "Real Love" (at least two edits exist)
1996: "Two Of Us" ("Let It Be" performance)
1996: "For You Blue" ("Let It Be" performance)
1999: "Hey Bulldog" (created from the raw footage shot in the studio during recording)
2000: "She Loves You"
2000: "I Feel Fine" (Flash animated video, new creation)
2000: "Come Together" (Flash animated video, new creation)
2000: "Get Back" (Rooftop performance, this one has footage shot from across the street)
2000: "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
2000: "Ticket To Ride" (Remastered)
2000: "All You Need Is Love" (Colourised)
2003: "Two Of Us" (animated music video)
2003: "Get Back" (Studio clips, new creation)
2003: "One After 909" (Rooftop concert)
2003: "Don't Let Me Down"
2006: "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" (Shea Stadium footage)
2006: "Within You Without You/"Tomorrow Never Knows" (New creation)
2013: "Words Of Love" (New creation)
Each title is linked to it's own entry at BeatlesOnDVD.com, except for "Don't Let Me Down", which is linked to iTunes and "Words Of Love" is linked to the official Vevo video on YouTube.
Of course, music clips of the Beatles from their motion pictures and their Magical Mystery Tour TV special have also been used as music videos on TV.
In late 2013, it was revealed that a collection of Beatles music videos themed to the "1" album was due for release in October 2014, but it failed to materialise.
Older postings from Wogblog
The Blackmaria.org: How The Beatles Kinda Did (And Kinda Didn’t) Invent Music Videos